BOSTON — After Wentworth scored two goals in the first period, RIT returned the favor with a pair of tallies in the second period. After a scoreless third, and great chances for both team in overtime, the game remained a 2-2 tie.
Wentworth goaltender Raj Bhangoo earned his overtime pay in net against RIT, stopping 51 of 53 shots.
“Bhangoo was in our players’ head,” said RIT assistant coach Josh Faulkner. “He’s acrobatic and an excellent goaltender. We were looking for the perfect pass.”
“Our goaltending helps us to be better,” said Wentworth coach Bill Bowes. “At times RIT dominated and Bhangoo allowed us to stay in it.”
The third period was very even, with both teams able to create first rate scoring chances. However, the goaltenders were able to stymie the shooters and keep the game knotted.
The Tigers held a strong territorial advantage throughout most of the first period. However, it was Wentworth that took advantage of its opportunities and built a 2-0 lead.
“Being opportunistic is what we have to do,” said Bowes. “We have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities.”
The Leopards’ first goal came 4:27 into the contest. Mark Cavanagh pushed the puck across the slot from the far boards and linemate Erik Kobisky one-timed the puck high above Tiger netminder Tyler Euverman for the goal.
RIT kept pressing, outshooting Wentworth 15-7 in the period, but the Leopards packed everything in deep to keep the Tigers off the board.
The Leopards built on their lead just past the middle of the period. RIT Ryan’s Fairbarn blasted a shot from the middle of the blueline that Bhangoo saved. The rebound bounced all the way out to center ice, and Leopard Nicholas Legare raced after the puck as it rolled across the RIT blue line. Legare beat Fairbarn to the puck and swatted it past Euverman for the goal at 13:27.
In golf, the easiest way to read a green is to assume that they run towards the water. The ice at Matthews Arena was tilted the same way for the first two periods, towards the Charles River.
The second period had the ice tilted in RIT’s favor, as the teams switched ends, and the Tigers scored two goals of their own. Mike Bournazakis swatted home the puck from the right side of the crease on the power play at 6:05 to get RIT rolling.
“We weren’t prepared mentally in the first period,” said Faulkner. “The second was a great period and to come back strong showed some character.”
The goal gave RIT a jump, and the Tigers were swarming the Leopard net for the next several shifts. Bhangoo made a series of spectacular saves, many side to side across the crease, to keep Wentworth in the game.
Errol McDonald deflected a shot by Mark Hyman high in to the net at 12:51 to knot the game 2-2.